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mta5888 02-05-2011 08:32 AM

Pole Material
So I'm purchasing a 3 season tent. I have 2 picked out from the alps mountaineering company. These two are exactly the same except one has fiberglass poles and the other is aluminum.

My tent will never be exposed to snow build up of any kind, probably never snow at all. Weight is not a concern, it's a 2 pound difference between the 2, I can handle that. The most extreme thing that will test the structure of the tent will be heavy rain and wind. Should a storm pop up while I'm camping.

Which should I get??

Thanks all!

artmart 02-05-2011 12:14 PM

If you ever plan to backpack with it I would make my decision based on lighter weight. 2 extra lbs over time will add to your fatigue whether you realize it or not. The longer the distance the more important. I am a casual backpacker, but I have been surprised with 12 to 15 miles days due to weather, injury (others, not me) and any lbs you can shave to gain strength is the way to go.

If you never had rain or wind when camping you aren't camping, so plan for it. If it didn't occur you wouldn't need a tent as much.

You don't say what models you selected and what types of camping you are planning. Since ALPS Mountaineering has lots of models to pick from, just know they do have some good designs, but there's some of them I would question (especially in a wind).

I have tents with aluminum poles and tents with fibreglass. My opinion and this is only my opinion, is that I find aluminum easier to work with than fiberglass. Aluminum seems more flexible. Unfortunately over time aluminum will develop a slight bend and I have not noticed this with fiberglass. I would still pick aluminum after considering purpose, function, design and weight and it was pretty even.

Lastly, I have been snowed on in what would be regarded as Summer. Therefore I like to say the 4 seasons for a tent are dry, windy, rainy, and snowy (not Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer). A 3 season tent won't do well in the snow (weight of snow can cause collapse for a 3 season tent). Different degrees and intensities of the first 3 seasons are what you want to evaluate your tent against.

Good luck with your decision.

mta5888 02-05-2011 12:39 PM


Originally Posted by artmart (Post 10328)
You don't say what models you selected and what types of camping you are planning. Since ALPS Mountaineering has lots of models to pick from, just know they do have some good designs, but there's some of them I would question (especially in a wind).

I'm comparing the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4 and Taurus 4.

I am kind of leaning towards the Taurus 4 just because I feel there must be a difference of something(even though the specs are so close) if it's classified as a camping tent as opposed to the Lynx 4 being classified as a back packing tent. I don't know persay, I've never really owned such a nice tent.

I didn't mean to say no wind or rain. But I won't ever be camping on the beach or somewhere with massive amounts of wind, and sure I always expect rain on my trips. But I can promise no snow! hah. Feel free to share anything you want about knowledge you have.

artmart 02-05-2011 11:57 PM

Those two are the same tent as far as size and layout. One is the backpacking model and the other is the base camp model. The backpack model has more mesh material in the walls and aluminum poles for lighter weight and the base camp models has more solid wall material and heavier fibreglass poles. Both flys will have solid walls to keep out precipation.

The big advantage to the backpacking model is ventilation is vastly improved because of the mesh walls. To protect from precipitation use the fly, but the mesh walls still improve ventilation with the fly especially with possible 4 people packed tight. The big advantage for the base camp model is that the heavier poles make the tent heavier and stiffer so it will fair better in the same wind.

Unfortunately they are both the criss cross two pole design. This will cause a lot of wall movement in any kind of wind (and the noise might keep you up at night), however their low profile of about 52" tall means they won't be as bad as a taller two pole tent that's say, 6 ft tall that will literally lie flat as the poles flatten in strong wind unless there are ample lash lines. This is why I would prefer a three pole tent. besides far more strength they provide more lash points which greatly increases strength.

But then you are getting more into the outfitter tents and Alps doesn't have many 3 or more pole tents.

Two other things to consider. When you do the width measures per person, you'll find there is only 26" of width per person. This does not include the space lost to the sloping sides of the tent so that 4 person tent will fit 3 comfortably but 4 means you better like who's in the tent a lot cuz you're gonna be close by. The other thing to consider is that changing clothing and the like can only be done easiest in the center position. The person's at the edges where the sides slope considerably will not be able to sit up and dress. It there are only three then the person in the center has the most room. A smaller tent interior means it will get messy as things shuffle together and will add much time to changing and preparing for activities.

I'm trying to provide as much information now and not after you buy. I have met many who have had to regret their purchase when they went to small. You might find spending a little bit more might get you a lot more tent and no regrets, but you don't want a behemoth. If you're are set in your decision then you've got two very similar selections to pick from. If there are only two of you, then solid walls. If three or more, you might want the mesh walls for the ventilation.

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